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Van der Garde excited by 'home' event
21 August 2013
Giedo van der Garde says he is excited by the prospect of competing in F1 at Spa for the first time this weekend.
The Belgian Grand Prix will be the closest thing to a home race for the Dutchman, with the former GP2 racer hoping to try and aid Caterham in its bid to move ahead of Marussia in the championship standings.
The 28-year-old has won at Spa in the past while competing in GP2 and he said he was confident of a strong run to kick-start the second half of the year.
"Honestly, I've been excited about racing in F1 at Spa ever since the start of the season, actually probably for all my life!” he said. “As there isn't a Dutch Grand Prix these days the Belgian GP is the closest I have to a home race and I know there's going to be a lot of orange flags around the track, and a lot of support for me and the team all weekend.
“I know we're not going to be in a position to fight at the front of the grid, but we'll still be pushing as hard as possible to beat our nearest rivals, and after the last race in Hungary I'm confident we can start the second half of the season in a positive way and put on a good show for all the fans who'll make the trip to Spa. I can't wait!”
Team-mate Charles Pic meanwhile said he was also hopeful of a solid run and was also excited about returning to Spa for the second time in F1.
“The second to last European race of the season at Spa is one of the classic Grands Prix and there's a lot of history about the track, particularly when you look back at what it used to be like!” he said. “These days it's obviously much shorter, and safer, but it's still a very good challenge in an F1 car, whatever the weather is like!
“The main technical focus on Friday and Saturday morning is getting the balance right between the outright speed you need for the high speed sections, like the run to Les Combes, and the downforce you need to push in sector two, particularly through corners like Pouhon which is very quick when you have the car set up well. Get the balance right and a quick lap of Spa is a very satisfying feeling – for the drivers inside the cockpit and the fans watching the cars through corners like Eau Rouge, it's what F1 is all about!”
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